Academias científicas: na melhor companhia???

sexta-feira, junho 25, 2010

Published online 23 June 2010 | Nature 465, 1002-1004 (2010) | doi:10.1038/4651002a

News Feature
Scientific Academies: In the best company

The grandfather of scientific national academies is staging major celebrations this week for its 350th birthday. But, like similar elite groups around the world, Britain's Royal Society has had to work hard to stay relevant and influential, reports Colin Macilwain.

Colin Macilwain

One thing that scientists have learned since the seventeenth century is how to throw a party. This week, the Queen is set to celebrate with hundreds of Britain's most brilliant minds, kicking off a summer of festivities to mark the 350th anniversary of the Royal Society of London for the Improvement of Natural Knowledge.

The public will be invited to partake in a carnival of celebrity lectures, debates, live TV shows and exhibits to showcase science and the Royal Society's role in it. The choice of the South Bank — London's main arts centre and a major tourist bazaar — for the ten-day extravaganza signals the society's hunger to be seen as up to date, inclusive and important, not exclusive and aloof.

National academies of science in more than 100 nations are aiming for the same goal, with varying success. Many were born in an era when a few select individuals practiced science, and those groups evolved to offer behind-the-scenes advice to governments. Now, the academies represent much more diverse communities, and they must take their messages not only to governments but also directly to the public.

The Royal Society and its kindred academies have had to evolve in their own unique ways to meet the challenges of the twenty-first century. They try to offer sober advice on some of the most divisive issues — such as climate change, reproductive biology and genetically modified food — without offending their patrons or members. They must be seen to be independent of government, despite considerable reliance on public funding. And they need to reflect the growing ethnic and gender diversity of the scientific community, while still selecting members on the basis of their scientific reputations.




Sou veementemente contra a ditadura da Nomenklatura científica. O discurso de Colin Macilwain atribui muito poder às academias científicas. Elas têm que ficar no lugar onde estão e controladas pela sociedade. Uma sociedade que sucumbe à ditadura de um grupo, mesmo científico, está condenada a perder sua liberdade! 

Podemos pegar em armas [legais] para depor os mandarins da Nomenklatura científica??? Creio que sim...